Blog - Adapting To Summer Heat

Adapting To Summer Heat

2012-07-08

This year, the summer is dry and warm in Romania, in some places it can also be called hot (for me, hot is somewhere beyond 35 degreees Celsius). Staying indoors can be quite a torture: air is not moving enough, green house effect from the windows and so on. I'm the type of guy who love comfort but doesn't want to pay much for it. To achieve comfort with minimal costs I "sacrifice" time and energy on thinking about solutions. Since this is the 3rd (?) week of heat I had a real motivation to seek methods of achieving tolerable temps in my room and at work. Results did come so they are worth sharing with everyone who's not a termo-masochist. Let's start with some basic physics principles (if you don't like theory, you can skip to the practical side).
  1. Warm air has the tendency to rise. Cold air has the tendency to replace warm air.
  2. The lower part of a window is where cold air circulates. The middle part is where there is almost no air moving. On the upper part is where warm air circulates.
  3. Our body cools itself through perspiration. Tiny particles of water evaporate from the surface of the skin. The air surrounding the body gets saturated with humidity. In this case, evaporation cannot be sufficient for cooling (air doesn't accept more water from the body), so the body will raise water output. That water will also not evaporate, so it remains on the surface of the skin. This is transpiration and we don't like it, especially at work. So, drinking more water will mitigate only the symptoms but not the cause, so it's an inefficient and costly method.
  4. Objects store heat. Much more heat than air stores. This is a problem because when the night comes and outside temp drops, the room remains hot due to objects giving out the heat they assimilated during the day. I heard people say "the hot air is blocked inside the house". But that's wrong. You can change the air in seconds and after stopping ventillation, still have a hot room. What is important is to prevent heat getting stored during the day. Walls are only one part of this. There is also the furniture whitch can store lots of heat.
  5. Electronics generate heat. Bigger power consumption equals bigger heat output. Electronics can be regarded as heaters.
  6. Objects exposed to sunlight will heat up. Dark ones heat to higher temperatures while lighter ones reflect light and tend to heat up less.
  7. Heating and cooling efficiency highly depends on exposed surface.
To solve the problem, I used the following methods: You cand use any of the above methods. Some will have bigger effect, others smaller. But combined are the best. In my case, the room temperature was around 23 degrees Celsius two weeks ago. Now it is 28.1 degrees. Given that daytime temps are above 30 degrees, you can see that inside temp raised in a very slow pace. Yes, if it goes on like this, in a week, the room will be at 30. but it's still much better than having 30 for almost a month, right? Below you can see a sort of air conditioner I made these days. Feel free to make yours and experiment. In case you have a much more efficient version, please send me a link so I can share it here.